Questions tagged [optics]

Optics is the study of light, and its interaction with matter. It includes topics such as imaging systems, fiber optics, lasers, quantum optics, and more.

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Intensity increase in Monte Carlo radiative transfer simulations (in case of Rayleigh scattering)?

I came across something weird (at least for me) while looking at the Müller matrix for Rayleigh-scattering. If I see it correctly, for some scattering angles, it can actually increase the intensity up ...
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How does a single satellite like the upcoming BIOMASS use interferometry?

The future satellite BIOMASS, from the ESA, will supposedly use p-band frequency interferometry to detect changes in forests. By itself? How?
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In Young's doublte slit experiment what happens if instead of cylindrical , spherical wavefront are taken?

Specifically in case of wavefront developed similar to wavefront developed by a convex or a concave lens .(essentially getting converging or diveging beam of light ) Do we see straight strips of dark ...
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Does the spectrum of two-beam interference also show an interference pattern?

I know when you interfere two beams you get an interference pattern with a fringe pattern of λ/(2*sin(θ/2)) in physical space. It seems that there must also be modulation of the spectrum. Is this ...
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Can “light” produce “light”?

As predicted by Huygens' principle it seems obvious that light can produce light. Is it true or I have a misconception? I asked this question because what I have learnt till now is that light can ...
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Interference between incident and reflected light rays in thin films

I have read that when a thin film becomes very thin (lambda>>film), it actually does not reflect any light since the incident wave and the reflected wave interfere destructively (and there is no light ...
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Why does concave mirror simultaneously form 2 images?

So in an experiment to find focal length of a concave mirror first we had to estimate its rough focal length. I kept an object at point which was beyond the focus in front of the mirror and got its ...
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What apparatus do physicists use to hold a photon and for how long? [duplicate]

While reading about one of the Chinese experiments I see that they propose to hold one half of a pair of entangled photons(meaning holding one photon for an amount of time) until they manage to send ...
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Is my illuminance calculation correct?

I have been reading about illuminance, illuminous flux, lumens, lux, irradiance, etc on wikipedia. I made this toy problem to test my knowledge. I am posting it here to test if I'm correct. (note, ...
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Question about adjusting focus on augmented reality

I am working on a project and I am trying to build augmented reality glasses. I have a question about focusing the projection from screen and the real object on the far distance at the same time. How ...
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Difference between phase variation and phase deviation

I was wondering whether there are differences between the terms phase variation and phase deviation of a wave. If we have an equation of a wave which is incident on a plane given as : E(x,t) =Eo $\...
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If two different mediums have the same refractive index do they refract light identically at all wavelengths, pressures, etc.?

Is it possible to differentiate between two substances purely based upon how two mediums refract different colors of light? It is clear that different elements absorb (and emit) light very differently ...
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Could this work as a way to make 2D appear 3D?

So there is an effect where if you close one eye while watching a 2D movie, it appears slightly more 3D. This being because your depth perception no longer has the cue from two eyes. (As an ...
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N00b path integral formulation question

I have a question about the path integral formulation used in QED etc. The path integral formulation implies to me that index of refraction (and reflection or anything also calculated using this ...
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Why does the laser reflect like a semicircle?

I was having fun with my laser. What causes this reflection? Edit: I had an idea and tilted the surface of this plaque by 90°. I now get a straight line, such as the reflection from the plaque below: ...
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Simple, nonmathematical argument for partial polarization by reflection

I'm teaching calculus-based electricity and magnetism with a sequence of topics in which students learn the basics of electromagnetic waves before the semester in which they get a more general ...
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Sign convention for spherical mirrors

What is the sign convention for this formulation of the spherical mirror equation? $$1/i + 1/o = 1/f$$ f is negative for convex mirrors. i is image distance. o is object distance. (How can the ...
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Basics of camera calibration

I tried to find some useful explanation about camera calibration and stereo camera setup in the web but was completely overwhelmed by the hairiness of the content: but seriously though, does it have ...
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Formulas with complete sign conventions for spherical mirrors and thin lenses

I'm looking for two things: Something like the third equation in the chosen answer in the link, but for spherical mirrors, and Something that covers conventions for the radii of curvature and focal ...
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Does the thickness of germanium dioxide affect the amount of infrared light that passes through it? [on hold]

Furthermore, what properties of germanium cause it to behave in this manner?
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Vision bluriness

I don’t know much about vision so I hope one of you guys could clarify me… When people who have vision problems look at an object without their glasses, they’ll see this object with a certain level ...
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What is the physics behind Samsung Galaxy Axx-series “3D Glasstic”?

How does back cover of Samsung Galaxy A30 transform light into those wavy white lines? I hope you could draw a schema of incident and reflected light with the answers.
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How would a electrostatic lens accelerate a continuous beam of electrons?

Truthfully, I am somewhat confused by this topic. Electro-magnetic lenses are created by coils, through which one runs a current, which then in turn generates a magnetic field whose field lines are ...
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Acousto-optic modulators

How can I determine which diffracted beam is +1 and which is -1 in the diffraction pattern formed by an acousto-optic modulator?
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1answer
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Tilted screen in Young's double slit experiment

I was wondering what would happened if we titled the screen in Young's double slit experiment (YDSE) by a certain angle say $\theta$. What effect would it have on fringe patterns and their intensities ...
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1answer
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What kind of lens does the opposite of magnifying?

I know nothing about physics, so I figured I would ask here. I am doing an art project, for which I need an lens that has the opposite effect of a magnifying lens, that is, to make whatever you're ...
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In Young's double slit experiment, does the intensity of light depend on the slit width?

Here's a question I just came around In YDSE, the intensity of the maxima is I.If the width of each slit is doubled, what will be the intensity of maxima now ? here, we assume that no diffraction is ...
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Which luminous efficacy function does BIPM reference?

The definition of candela given by BIPM is as follows: The candela, symbol cd, is the SI unit of luminous intensity in a given direction. It is defined by taking the fixed numerical value of the ...
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Why won't my interference pattern go away?

Bought a double slit diaphragm, laser pointer and some linear polarizing sheets off of Amazon so I could see the double slit experiment first hand. When I place a vertically aligned polarizer in ...
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1answer
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Why is the sky near the Earth limb warm-colored, even far from the sun?

I've seen many sunset pictures with explanations. The sun is red, the areas adjacent to it is orange, then yellow... because redder lights bend less, and the air is thick at that angle. Far enough ...
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Are interference patterns the basis for all other measurements of light frequencies and wavelengths?

The wavelength or frequency of monochromatic electromagnetic radiation is determined indirectly by calculations on the interference or diffraction pattern. These patterns are generated by gratings, ...
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Why does the shadow(formed at the bottom surface of beaker) of thumb disappear when it is at the interface of air and water?

Switch on the light bulb of your room and take a beaker filled with water.Now,slowly drift your thumb towards the top surface of water,notice that a sharp shadow of thumb is formed at the bottom ...
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What causes the vertical bands of light in an aurora?

I was lucky enough to witness a medium-strength aurora recently in Iceland (KP ~3). We saw the classic rippling arc of green light, which at times seemed to consist of smaller flickering vertical ...
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Representation of spin-1 density matrices

Pauli matrices, together with the identity matrix can generate any $2\times 2$ matrix. By adding the condition that the matrices must be hermitian and with trace 1, we can represent density matrices ...
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Electromagnetic energy density in a nonlinear medium

The energy density associated with the electric field in a linear medium of permitivity $ \epsilon $ is given as $$ U = \frac{1}{2}\epsilon\left | E \right |^{2} $$ As Robert Boyd mentions in the ...
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How does the eye see a real image?

If we look at a convex mirror diagram, it produces a real inverted image at the bottom. Let's say a person's eye is above the object. How do the reflected rays reach the eye? since it's a concave ...
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Is the Rayleigh criterion in any way related to Rayleigh scattering?

The wavelength of light should be very much greater than the particle size scattering the light in Rayleigh scattering. And the Rayleigh criterion deals with the ability to resolve two objects as ...
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Newton's explanation for interference [duplicate]

If Isaac Newton believed that light is a particle, then how did he explain the interference phenomena?
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The polarization filter does not work

I am working in Conduction phenomena Photo-conductivity Experiment. Here the experiment guide . The aim is to measure the photocurrent $I_{Ph}$ as a function of the voltage $U$ at a constant ...
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How to simulate an inverse square law dependence of radiant flux from sampled rays?

I am trying to simulate (MonteCarlo integrate) the following scenario, see sketch below (as prequel of a somewhat bigger simulation). Assume a small (point) L'Ambertian emitter, i.e. the radiant ...
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Fermat's Principle of Least Time

I was going through the Feynman Lectures on optics when I came across an explanation for Fermat's Principle. I did not fully understand the explanation- can someone please break it down in a simpler ...
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Amplitude of single-mode field in a cavity

I have two contradictory result about the amplitude of single mode field when it is quantized In C. Gerry and P. Knight's Introductory quantum optics, the amplitude is given by $$\sqrt{\frac{2\omega^...
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A Problem about Line Broadening and Absorption coefficient

I am reading my textbook, Lasers by Anthony E. Siegman, and I just could not understand a point he made. In the chapter section about inhomogeneous broadening, he used a figure to show the transition ...
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1answer
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Why photodiode measures random phase superpositions on continuous-wave (10kHz) white light?

I measured a 10 kHz modulated white light using a photodiode (Thorlabs PDA10A): Unexpectedly, the photodiode output sensitively depends on the orientation and position of the photodiode. For two ...
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Why does the shadow of Io on Jupiter look so big?

It has been reported this week[0] that the following image by Kevin Gill is the shadow of Io crossing Jupiter. Why is the shadow so large? My intuition is that Io is much smaller than Jupiter so ...
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Error propagation in sine

Having little experience teaching uncertainties and error propagation to high school students I am learning a lot of new things this year. One thing in the textbook we use states that the uncertainty ...
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Unable to follow Feynman Lectures reading on opacity

Feynman is explaining the phenomenon of opacity in terms of classical electrodynamics. Let us first ask: “What is an opaque screen?” Suppose we have a completely opaque screen between a source S ...
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2answers
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Fermat's Principle: no first-order change in time?

I was reading the chapter on Fermat's principle in the Feynman lecture series. The principle is stated along these lines: "The correct statement is the following: a ray going in a certain ...
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Deriving Fresnel Equations for parallel polarization using Maxwell's boundary conditions

I'd first like to preface this post with the "right answer" per wikipedia (I've seen the same answer elsewhere on more reputable websites) The thing I find trouble some is the cross terms such as $...
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How exactly is white light a combination of several wavelengths? [duplicate]

I have read that light is an electromagnetic wave. Every ray of light has a specific wavelength. The colour perceived by any observer is dependent upon the wavelength of the incident light. What I ...